Divine Mercy Q&A

Accounting for Debts, but No Calculator Required

A few weeks ago, I received an email that raises a most profound theological question. One person wrote: "The real problem I have with stuff like the Divine Mercy Chaplet is that it makes God appear to be transactional."

Although the questioner's language was less than precise, it reminded me of some modern theologians I have read (even Catholic ones), who object to the Church's traditional teaching about the saving work of Jesus on the Cross.

Mary and Her Role in God's Merciful Plan

Some questions about Mary and her role in God' plan of merciful love have arrived in my e-mail box in recent weeks. A woman named Paula wrote to me:

On the Mystery of Offering Up Our Sufferings

Every once in a while, someone sends me a letter that is so poignant and so profound, that I am compelled in conscience to share almost the whole text of it with the readers of this column. That happened recently with a letter I received from a person with a truly beautiful soul named "Angela." Here is the entire text of her good letter (printed here with her permission):

He's Back, with Answers

Now that I am back from my brief post-Divine Mercy Sunday respite, I find myself with a pile of questions to answer that came in just after the feast day, and some of them from people who are still wrestling with the meaning of the day itself.

What Does Trust Mean?

We are encouraged by the Church to grow more and more in "trust" in our merciful Savior.

One of our readers asked me recently:

The Fate of 'Talkative Souls,' the Value of Silence

This week, I received a question that seems rather strange at first - even humorous - but it actually opens up an important aspect of St. Faustina's teachings on the spiritual life.

A reader named Nancy wrote the following: "Notebook 1, paragraph 118 of the Diary (says that) souls were in hell because they did not practice silence. How can this be? How does anyone have a chance (to make it to heaven) if you can go to hell for being talkative?"

On Going to Confession Before Mercy Sunday

Questions about when to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to Divine Mercy Sunday are on the minds of many devout Catholics at this time of year.

After all, in the Diary of St. Faustina, entry 699, Jesus promised to St. Faustina: "The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened."

Divine Mercy and People of Other Faiths

We are now in the midst of the Lenten preparation and "count-down" to Holy Week, Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday. Many of you write to me about your sincere concern at this time for an outpouring of God's mercy on family members who are lapsed Catholics, or upon friends who are still far from the Faith.

In particular, one of our readers, a woman named Ana Cardinale from Freehold, N.J., asked a question awhile back about the special graces of our Savior that might be available even to non-Catholics on Divine Mercy Sunday itself.

The Difference Between the Chaplet and Novena

As we draw near to Divine Mercy Sunday 2007, many of you will hear about parishes doing a "Divine Mercy Novena" or a "Novena of Chaplets" starting on Good Friday. One of our readers, a woman named Elena, asked what the difference is between the Chaplet and the Novena. Another person asked if it is necessary to recite the Novena in order to receive the extraordinary graces promised by Jesus for Divine Mercy Sunday.